The iPad Pro (find my review of the 9.7" iPad Pro here) has been sort of a breath of fresh air in the iPad line up in 2016 and the Apple Pencil (and you can find my Apple Pencil review here) along with the iPad Pro works tremendously well. So its no surprise that Apple might put in more resources in improving the iPad Pro lineup in 2017. And fresh from the iPad Pro Rumor mill (via 9to5mac), we have some tidbits that Apple will release in Q2 of 2017, three new iPad models, of which two will the iPad Pro models and one, just the regular, low end iPad (Air?).
This iPad Pro Rumor comes from Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI securities and claims that one of the two new iPad Pro models will be a second generation 12.9" iPad Pro, as expected (may be featuring the True tone color display of the iPad Pro 9.7"?) with an updated A10x processor. In addition to this, there will also be a "newly designed" 10-10.5" iPad Pro, that will feature a thinner bezel (and may be a lighter and a smaller overall profile) iPad Pro at the highest end. Lastly, the third iPad will be an update to the lower end iPad (Air?) with an updated A9x processor. However there was no mention of the iPad mini in this post.
All these are good news. This means that Apple is doing something to address the iPad's falling sales and in my opinion, the iPad as a product line as it exists today has a lot of potential for growth. The newly designed smaller bezel iPad Pro seems interesting. I really hope it has Touch ID, 3D Touch and True Tone display. Or in other words I really hope the "highest end" iPad is a no-compromise iPad, unlike the iPad Pros today, where both the 9.7" and the 12.9" models lack some feature or the other. However my question is, where is the iOS for iPad improvements that were rumored to be released in early 2017, as a point upgrade to iOS? We haven't heard any murmurs on that front so far. This is quite frankly troubling me as I mentioned in my iPad Pro review recently that iOS is the biggest limiting factor of the iPad and its not the iPad's hardware that needs urgent attention, but rather its software.
I have been wishing/predicting a much more powerful iOS for iPad since 2013 (!). And though we got some iPad specific features in iOS 10, iOS on iPad is still far from being powerful enough to take full advantage of even the existing iPad Pro's hardware. So while I am glad with these new iPad Pro rumors, I find myself yet again wishing for an iOS that is more versatile and suited for the iPad than pretty much the same iOS that exists on the iPhone.